[NetBehaviour] Art For Algorithms

furtherfield furtherfielder at gmail.com
Thu Feb 5 12:01:56 CET 2015

Art For Algorithms

Rob Myers takes a look at how we can subvert the operation of the
algorithms that the Digital Humanities, corporations and governments use to
read, see, and draw conclusions about human expression by treating them as
the true audience for contemporary art and literature.

Art, to misparaphrase Jeff Koons, reflects the ego of its audience. It
flatters their ideological investments and symbolically resolves their
contradictions. Literature's readers and art's viewers change over time,
bringing different ways of reading and seeing to bear. This relationship is
not static or one-way. The ideal audience member addressed by art at any
given moment is as much produced by art as a producer of it. Those works
that find lasting audiences influence other works and enter the canon. But
as audiences change the way that the canon is constructed changes. And vice
versa. "The Digital Humanities" is the contemporary rebranding of
humanities computing. Humanities for the age of Google rather than the East
India Company. Its currency is the statistical analysis of texts, images
and other cultural resources individually or in aggregate (through "distant
reading" and "cultural analytics").

Enter the void

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